May is designated “Pastoral Education Month,” when congregations can emphasize the pastoral ministry in a variety of ways — from recruiting seminary students, to retaining current pastors, or encouraging continuing education.
In an e-mail “blast” to congregations and ordained and commissioned Synod workers, the LCMS Board for Pastoral Education (BPE) is encouraging congregations to participate in Pastoral Education Month. From its Web site, the BPE is offering materials for download, including a sermon, Bible study, hymn suggestions, and a collect.
The e-mail also calls attention to continuing education opportunities and theological resources from the LCMS seminaries.
“We realize that congregations will utilize the resources at different times and in different ways,” commented Dr. Glen Thomas, executive director of the BPE. “We have intentionally made the resources flexible and not tied them to any particular date.”
Recruiting pastors is a continuing emphasis in the LCMS. During any given month, pastoral vacancies in congregations — averaging about 400 — exceed the number of students expected to graduate from the two LCMS seminaries this spring. (More than 800 LCMS congregations report pastoral vacancies, but only half are actively calling.) Pastors also will be needed as the Ablaze! movement seeks to establish 2,000 new mission sites by 2017.
Among the Pastoral Education Month materials will be a sermon and Bible study prepared by Thomas, based on Matt. 9:35-38.
All the resource materials are available for download free from the Board for Pastoral Education Web site at www.lcms.org/pastoraleducation.
Posted April 15, 2009